News outlets increasingly are using Pinterest to tell stories, showing the image-sharing network can be more than a virtual collection of pretty things. In addition to pinning images from their latest news stories, journalists also are sharing archival material and teasing upcoming news.
Company spokeswoman Malorie Lucich says the types of pins are diversifying across the network. She offers three specific ideas and strategies for how journalists can use Pinterest to organize reporting and engage readers.
BEFORE A STORY: Use a “secret” board to create a storyboard for an article while developing it. (Secret boards are invisible to others on Pinterest, unless you invite people to see it.) It can be made public later, if reporters want to give a behind-the-scenes look.
WHEN THE STORY GOES LIVE: Make a board part of a story package, and link to the article on the board. St. Paul Pioneer Press created this board on local restaurants to accompany a story on kid-friendly dining. CTV News created this Titanic board to go along with its coverage of the 100th anniversary of the ship’s sinking.
EXTEND THE LONG-TAIL EFFECT OF A STORY: Tell the story behind a story. Create a board that shows the inspiration for a major story, or give a behind-the-scenes look of the reporting process. Check out Austin American-Statesman Omar L. Gallaga’s boards, where he gives readers clues about the stories he’s working on.
Three more suggestions for using Pinterest, based on what other news outlets are doing:
COVER ELECTIONS – Try out Pinterest’s new maps feature, which allows users to create boards based on geographic locations. For elections, this could mean geographically organized information, such as candidate bios, elections results and candidate visits.
BUILD A COLLAGE – Start a page devoted to specific news events, like The Today Show did with the Sochi Olympics, pinning the show’s coverage of the event, including the most popular Olympic memes and what “regular couples can learn from pairs skaters.”
PREVIEW ENTERTAINMENT – Create boards to preview and offer discussion on upcoming entertainment options. iMDB, which covers movies and celebs, is one place to look for inspiration. Its boards are organized around what movies are showing in theaters and feature pins that link to iMDB content.